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Your favorite inexpensive, spicy meals?

butterfat Dec 28, 2008 06:12 AM

I'm expecting my first baby any day now (or in a few weeks, who knows?), and since I'm not feeling much like cooking, and this feels like our last chance to dine out for a while, DH and I have been going out for lunch the last few days and will probably continue to until the baby arrives. The problem is that we normally prefer to cook at home, so we're fairly clueless about restaurants beyond our immediate neighborhood.

I'm hoping you all can share some of your favorite inexpensive spicy meals as inspiration for us. (The inexpensive part is because this baby is already stretching our budget. The spicy part is to help induce labor, plus it just seems to be what I'm craving.)

In an ideal world, we'd like to find places that are easily driveable from Cambridge, and that are pleasant and comfortable places to sit without being fancy since I'm not much into dressing up these days. No real dietary restrictions except the pregnancy-related ones (no sushi, deli meats, etc.)

Yesterday I enjoyed a spicy noodle soup at Wagamama but I know we can do better with your help. Thanks in advance hounds!

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  1. n
    nasilemak RE: butterfat Dec 28, 2008 07:32 AM

    Jamaican Jerk Beef at Redbones in Davis Square. beware, as it can be incendiary!

    Any curry dish from Thai Moon.

    5 Replies
    1. re: nasilemak
      manish01 RE: nasilemak Dec 30, 2008 11:37 AM

      I second that one.
      and add: anna's chili verde burrito with jalapenos and hot sauce, no beans.

      1. re: nasilemak
        ChickenBrocandZiti RE: nasilemak Dec 30, 2008 06:27 PM

        I concur. Jerk Beef at Redbones is excellent. Singh at Singh's Roti makes an excellent Scotch Bonnet pepper sauce as well.

        1. re: nasilemak
          MaineRed RE: nasilemak Jan 8, 2009 12:51 PM

          Chili Garden in Medford Square: order off the Schezuan menu--kung pao chicken (I always ask them to make it w/tofu instead) is a safe bet for non-adventurous spice lovers. SO just had the chicken with mustard and peppers--there were huge chunks of jalapeno, almost inedible but it was so spicy and good :) Mulan in Kendall is fantastic too.

          Porter Square mall--the little kiosk that specializes in noodle soups for spicy brothy goodness

          Le's for noodle soup in Harvard Square--I get the veggie & tofu vermacelli and load it up with Rooster sauce...

          Mike's Pizza in Davis: Hot Spicy Pizza: W/ pepperoni, hot sausages, hot cherry, peppers, sauce and mozzarella--pretty good!

          Namaskar in Davis: Lunch buffet is actually very nicely spiced, not make your nose run...but for a buffet it's great.

          Greek Corner on Mass Ave: get any sandwich and ask for it to be spicy (Rooster sauce) with extra tzatziki -- theirs is the best -- so so garlicky. Or, just the tzatzkiki appetizer with pita...

          good luck!

          1. re: MaineRed
            MC Slim JB RE: MaineRed Jan 9, 2009 09:03 PM

            Love your posts, MaineRed: they make me want to go out and eat somewhere!

            1. re: MaineRed
              butterfat RE: MaineRed Jan 10, 2009 10:10 AM

              Ohh, I meant to say, MaineRed, that I LOVE a Greek Corner gyro with extra tzatziki and hot sauce! (I ususally go the Harvard Sq branch.) Definitely one of the highlights of my pregnancy eating :)

          2. f
            fredid RE: butterfat Dec 28, 2008 07:53 AM

            Tiger Tears (Cambodian) at Floating Rock in Revere.

            Fuloon, in Malden, has many great and spicy dishes, lots of threads on the board.

            7 Replies
            1. re: fredid
              drbangha RE: fredid Dec 29, 2008 12:59 PM

              Strongly recommend Fuloon. It is easy to get to from Cambridge, parking is ample, and it will be an easy place for an expectant mother to have a great meal- the food is very serious but the atmosphere is relaxed. And I can almost guarantee that if you call ahead and explain the situation and that you want an extra spicey meal to induce labor you will recieve the royal treatment. Dianne is the head hostess/owner and she is fantastic.

              1. re: drbangha
                ginafly RE: drbangha Dec 29, 2008 01:10 PM

                Fu Loon is fantastic and they certainly can cover a full range of spiciness.

                1. re: ginafly
                  wittlejosh RE: ginafly Jan 9, 2009 10:40 AM

                  The Steamed Szechuan Beef at FuLoon!

                2. re: drbangha
                  Delhiwala RE: drbangha Jan 14, 2009 11:34 AM

                  FuLoon really is fabulous - and the people are very nice.

                3. re: fredid
                  teaTomE RE: fredid Jan 9, 2009 09:39 PM

                  Does anyone on Chowhound ever try anything else at Floating Rock other than the Tiger Tears? They're good enough but many of their other dishes are a spice-level above and the Tiger/Hunter Tears (NamTok) at many Thai restaurants is better.

                  Get the Farmer-Style Papaya Salad there. Ask for it genuine and the baby should pop-out by midnight.

                  1. re: teaTomE
                    yumyum RE: teaTomE Jan 11, 2009 01:50 PM

                    9Lives and I have ordered the chili pork a few times, and it's always too spicy for me. I dig the crying during the eating, but the after-effects are brutal.

                  2. re: fredid
                    Trumpetguy RE: fredid Jan 11, 2009 08:10 AM

                    Yes to Fuloon! Went on Thursday and told the great host/owner I like hot/spicy. I have been a few times before, so she believes me :) I ordered "Bean Curd w/ Special Sauce" which is 2 star hot.Delicious! Also had for the 1st time the Kung Pao Shrimp, which was pretty good. Lots of those dried chilies to give it a good kick(as much as you like); but the true butt-kicker was the "Mandarin Cabbage w/ Chili Pepper", a 3 star dish. This IS hot! It was hot when I got it. Yesterday had leftovers and this made the others seem like nothing :) I was sweating all over as I was pulling out the leftovers from the fridge! I am sweating now just thinking about it. Really! I love that concept of mind/body... saw Restaurant owners Myers & Chang there--what a lovely couple!

                  3. h
                    hargau RE: butterfat Dec 28, 2008 08:03 AM

                    The Lunch Buffet at South East Asia in Lowell.. careful some items are too spicy for most. Its only like $7-8.. too.. Best to get there around 11-12 to be sure everything is nice and full/fresh

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: hargau
                      cornFusion RE: hargau Dec 28, 2008 04:47 PM

                      I heartily second Hargau! SEA is THE place - low cost, AYCE (buffet at lunch) which has "Blazing Hot" labels on those dishes which are indeed fiery (even for asian tastes). If that is not hot enough, you can order off the menu and ask the kitchen to make it hotter (but won't it affect the baby though? ...please check with your doctor before you actually take this course).
                      Other than that ..happy crying!

                      1. re: cornFusion
                        hargau RE: cornFusion Jan 1, 2009 10:16 AM

                        Im curious if any of the other offerings on this list are as spicy as the items at South East Asian. I have been to some of the places mentioned but not all, for instance i dont find anything at Sichuan Gourmet Billerica/Framingham to be nearly as spicy and i have tried just about everything on the menu many times. I still love S.G. and eat there about once a week though.

                        1. re: hargau
                          chickendhansak RE: hargau Jan 1, 2009 11:49 AM

                          I've been to the Lowell buffet a few times and also recommend it. But of other items mentioned here, that I've eaten, nothing, including SEA, compares to the Redbones jerk beef sandwich I had at their stand at the NERAX festival. That was RED HOT. If they are consistently that hot, I think it is a winner.

                          Ask for "very, very hot" at Punjab in Arlington and they will reward you.

                          1. re: chickendhansak
                            hargau RE: chickendhansak Jan 1, 2009 12:23 PM

                            interesting info. thanks I will have to try that. I know many bbq places have hot sauces that are hotter then i can handle and hotter then SEA but for some reason im not a fan of them. For instance even fireflys has a large rack of various sauces many of which are way too hot for me. One they ask you to sign a waiver to use! There is a very different taste/feel for asian spicy vs indian spicy vs mexican spicy vs a$$ in the tub bbq sauce spicy.

                            1. re: hargau
                              cornFusion RE: hargau Jan 8, 2009 05:25 AM

                              IMHO i would agree with hargau. The "indigenous" hot peppers of each region are, to me, quite different in taste and heat. You could probably pick a pepper from each region with the same "heat content" and personally experience various levels of actual heat based on the flavors you perceive in that pepper. My GF for example can eat scalding hot Thai peppers and not flinch, but would be crying with a taste of one of the (relatively) milder Central/South American peppers. I guess what I am trying to say here is that Redbones is in a separate class of heat than say SEA - perhaps another thread is warranted on this topic - with the experts contributing?

                              1. re: cornFusion
                                jgg13 RE: cornFusion Jan 8, 2009 06:50 AM

                                Well yeah, all peppers have their own flavor and heat profiles (where you tend to notice it, how quickly it comes on/fades, etc), even within the same species. In both cases though, not everyone can appreciate the differences - at a certain point for anyone, things get so hot that they really just can't tell anymore. Look at the Chinense species - a fatalii tastes pretty different than an habanero.

                            2. re: chickendhansak
                              jgg13 RE: chickendhansak Jan 1, 2009 02:08 PM

                              The jerk beef varies pretty heavily, in my experience. It ranges from "hot, but very tasty" to "this tastes like nothing but habanero and is really freaking hot"

                              1. re: jgg13
                                chickendhansak RE: jgg13 Jan 10, 2009 03:53 PM

                                I was there the other day and had it again and it was in the "fairly hot, very tasty" zone. Nothing like as hot as the first time I had it.

                                1. re: chickendhansak
                                  jgg13 RE: chickendhansak Jan 11, 2009 06:54 AM

                                  I really prefer it that way. The thing that I like best about jerk in general is all the flavors and the heat, which does'nt always come through at all @ redbones. Still, if one wants "inexpensive, spicy" that's probably a good choice :)

                      2. MC Slim JB RE: butterfat Dec 28, 2008 08:06 AM

                        A few ideas:

                        Chicken curry platter at Punjabi Dhaba.

                        Any curry or rice plate at Rod Dee Thai in Brookline or The Fenway.

                        Bokumbop, yukyejang, or kimchi tchigae at Buk Kyung II in Allston.

                        Mole poblano or tinga at Angela's Cafe in Eastie.

                        Sichuan pork dumplings, Chengdu dry hot chicken and dan dan noodles at Sichuan Gourmet in Brookline and Woburn.

                        Ca kho to (spicy fish) hot pot at Xinh Xinh in Chinatown.

                        Carolina pulled pork at Blue Ribbon BBQ in Arlington.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: MC Slim JB
                          jgg13 RE: MC Slim JB Dec 29, 2008 03:25 PM

                          Sichuan Gourmet is the one in Framingham & Billerica. Sichuan Garden is the one in Woburn & Brookline (of the four, I've only been to the framingham Gourmet)

                          1. re: jgg13
                            MC Slim JB RE: jgg13 Dec 30, 2008 12:03 PM

                            Ah, thanks for the correction. I just got to Garden II for lunch the other day, but think Gourmet is slightly better overall (better dumplings plus fresh bamboo shoots, wow). Both strike me as pretty authentic (without my ever having been to Sichuan province) and kick the crap out of most so-called Sichuan restaurants in town.

                            1. re: MC Slim JB
                              jgg13 RE: MC Slim JB Dec 30, 2008 12:17 PM

                              Yeah, the Framingham Gourmet I've enjoyed loads more than the stuff directly available to me in town that I've tried, but being carless it's a bit of a pain to get to. I've yet to try the Brookline Garden (reports of inconsistency + some inconvenience + laziness has caused that), although Chili Garden in Medford recently has shown up on my Foodler list, and I also really like their stuff.

                              1. re: jgg13
                                9lives RE: jgg13 Dec 30, 2008 01:51 PM

                                The Brookline SG is a quick T ride from downtown..green line to Brookline Village..2 min walk.

                                They also have a separate Chinese menu; which a CH translated a few years ago...pig foot (shank) and wenjun prawns are highlights.

                                1. re: 9lives
                                  ErstwhileEditor RE: 9lives Jan 2, 2009 09:28 AM

                                  The last time I went to the Brookline S Garden, the tendon in the Fu Qi Fei Pian (sp?) was practically raw! So awful, I have never returned.

                                  I have only been to S Garden in Woburn once, and I was not pleased when my soup dumplings arrived in a burst state!

                        2. c
                          chezchristine RE: butterfat Dec 28, 2008 08:29 AM

                          Spicy beef noodle soup at Green Tea in Newton.

                          1. Ali G RE: butterfat Dec 28, 2008 09:34 AM

                            The jerk beef at Redbones is great. I'll second that.

                            The jerk wings (of ass destruction) at East Coast Grill could easily induce labor.

                            I think if I were a pregnant woman, I'd crave french fries. Hell, I always crave french fries. The yucca fries at Casa de Pedro in Watertown and great. They drizzle them in cilantro oil, but if you ask, they will bring some house-made hot sauce. This stuff is fiery, but addictive. Lunch is very reasonably priced also.

                            1. a
                              another_adam RE: butterfat Dec 28, 2008 12:53 PM

                              For kimchi jjigae (and other spicy Korean options), I'd recommend Wuchon in Union Square, Somerville.

                              I second the recommendation for Rod Dee-- I especially like their papaya salad, which can be very spicy if you can convince them that you really mean it. I usually do take-out from the coolidge corner one, but the fenway location is better if you want to eat there, probably.

                              Also in Brookline, I've enjoyed the Mirchi ka Salan at Rani. It's basically just hot peppers in a tasty sauce, but good with some rice, bread, etc. (Their menu appears to list some other of their dishes as more spicy, but that hasn't been my experience!)

                              1. mcel215 RE: butterfat Dec 29, 2008 02:58 AM

                                Fish taco with spicy cabbage at El Pelon near Fenway Park.


                                1. Ferrari328 RE: butterfat Dec 29, 2008 05:52 AM

                                  Punjab in Arlington center for Indian at lunch. Soup and lunch special is around $7 and they can make it as spicy as you want.

                                  1. Aromatherapy RE: butterfat Dec 29, 2008 06:29 AM

                                    I take it you're looking for lunch specials? (Of course you can always split one dish but 2 smaller = more variety.) Keeping to the area:

                                    Medford Square: Chilli Garden (Sichuanese menu). Chung Ki Wa: jigae (spicy thick soup with tofu) lunches. I'm partial to the soon dubu, the beef one, and the pork & kimchee; there's also a fish one that didn't do much for me. Pho Yuan has a decent bo hue that's pretty spicy.

                                    Zoe's near Porter has spicy Sichuan; I haven't been in a few years now.
                                    In East Cambridge, Mulan and Wisteria House, both Taiwanese, have a few spicy lunches; Wisteria's are available Saturdays.

                                    Indian buffets: Kathmandu Spice in Arlington, relatively small but high quality, and Kebab Factory in Cambridge. I believe they're $8 or maybe $9 now. Certainly not everything is spicy but you can find some things. Weekends I like the lunch buffet at Bengal Cafe in N. Cambridge, again not reliably spicy but good, and you can always ask for fresh green chili to nibble, $10.

                                    Wang's (Somerville) has an 8-something (taste?) noodle soup that's delish and you can always add more chili flakes in oil. Their pork and pickle soup was less sour and spicy a few weeks ago than in my memory but my memory may be at fault. Still a tasty bowl of soup. However they aren't open for lunch except weekends. Qing Dao in N. Cambridge is, and I believe has similar soups, haven't tried them.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Aromatherapy
                                      naughtywaitress RE: Aromatherapy Dec 29, 2008 10:29 AM

                                      We just got Chili Garden for the first time Saturday night. We kept it safe in ordering, the only thing adventurous was the double smoked house sausage entree. It was soooo good. Have you had the tripe or rabbit or other not-your-average offering from there? I was tempted by these, but I ordered like the white-bread American I am.

                                      As for crave-able spicy, I must put in a plug for Tu y Yo's Beef Tinga (not sure about if they are open for lunch). It is spicy in a complex way rather than burn your face off way. And if it is Redbones a side of BBQ hash is spice-a-crave-able-licious, with big chunks of jalapenos.

                                      1. re: naughtywaitress
                                        Aromatherapy RE: naughtywaitress Dec 29, 2008 10:52 AM

                                        I've had their cold spicy rabbit appetizer and enjoyed it so much I've had some success in duplicating it (spicy bean sauce is key). Have not tried any others. I actually prefer the plain sausage appetizer to the twice-cooked, it's not very spicy and goes great with a Greek grappa that Ball Sq. Liquors carries. I've had their cold tripe (omasum) & tendon, it was fine, didn't blow me away, similar stuff elsewhere. Go for it! The smaller appetizer portions are a cheaper way to experiment. You wanna get out there, try the duck feet--loved the flavors, but not a texture I find essential. (FWIW, cold Chinese tripe preps were my gateway into really enjoying tripe. Many years reading chowhound and experimenting have greatly expanded my definition of "average.") Thanks for the tinga tip! For some reason I keep forgetting about Tu y Yo.

                                        1. re: naughtywaitress
                                          almansa RE: naughtywaitress Dec 30, 2008 11:35 AM

                                          I love the duck feet and the wild vegetables.

                                        2. re: Aromatherapy
                                          jgg13 RE: Aromatherapy Dec 29, 2008 10:48 AM

                                          The heat levels (as well as everything: quality, sometimes even what dish you actually get, etc) varies quite heavily at Zoe's but there are a few standouts of stuff that's pretty consistently spicy, including whatever it is that they call their water cooked beef (think it's braised beef filets and vegatables or something like that), their chonqging (sp?) chicken (both of which are on their sichuan menu) and their dry diced chicken w/ chiles I think it's called (off of house specialties). Sorry for the inexact names, don't have a menu handy.

                                        3. g
                                          ginafly RE: butterfat Dec 29, 2008 01:10 PM

                                          I like the Satay Noodle Soup at Pho 99 in Malden.

                                          1. rebs RE: butterfat Dec 29, 2008 02:14 PM

                                            Shabu Shabu at Shabu Zen - opt for the Chinese spicy broth. yum!!

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: rebs
                                              kobuta RE: rebs Jan 1, 2009 08:55 AM

                                              Or better yet, visit Little Q Hotpot in Quincy (if it's still open) and order their spicy broth. Blow your lips off spicy, but still yummy.

                                              1. re: kobuta
                                                chowfamily RE: kobuta Jan 1, 2009 09:27 AM

                                                Another vote for Little Q - their $7.50 lunch is a loss leader but very good value.

                                                The town has not retuned the favor.

                                                If you're into hotpot, food quality remains
                                                well above average.

                                            2. b
                                              butterfat RE: butterfat Dec 30, 2008 11:32 AM

                                              Thanks, hounds for all the inspired suggestions . . . it will take us a while to get through your list, but last night I had a premonition/panic attack that this baby would be 2+ weeks late, so we may well manage it . . .

                                              So far we've made in to Punjabi Dhaba--we were craving the addictive Pakori Chatt--but I do *not* recommend this place when you're nine months pregnant.. Not the comfiest or roomiest of spaces (which I already knew but failed to appreciate the significance of). Plus I failed to order anything very spicy. Do they have anything spicy other than vindaloo (which I find boring)?

                                              And today we stopped for lunch at Thai Moon while we were in the neighborhood shopping at Isis. Duck panang was yummy and the perfect amount of pleasant spiciness--enough to make you take notice and get a little sniffy and teary without being in actual pain.

                                              I will have to work up my courage for South East Asia and some of these crazy-spicy dishes you all have mentioned.

                                              Oh, and Ali G, your comment about fries got to me. Last night I made the Cook's Illustrated oven fries (great recipe) and dipped them in lots of garlicky lemony mayonnaise. They weren't spicy, but satisfied my fry craving better than most restaurant french fries. I'll have to try these yucca fries you speak of, though.

                                              1. galleygirl RE: butterfat Dec 30, 2008 05:50 PM

                                                I know you said easily driveable, and this one is up Rt.9 in Framingham, but this could definitely induce labor!
                                                I had the Spicy Fish Head soup at Uncle Cheung's a few weeks ago. I asked for it very spicy, and the waitress, who knows me, AND my tolerance for heat, said, "Do you want it how Chinese eat it, or hotter?" I went with the, "When in Shanghai..."
                                                Well, that was HOT; the kind of hot you just can't stop eating.
                                                Lovely layer of chili oil, rich, spicy broth, chunks of tofu, fish and fish head, edamame, cabbage, and green bean noodles. It was stellar. Enough for two (or breakfast the next day for Mom!)....$12.95 or $13.95...My new favorite dish there...

                                                1. steinpilz RE: butterfat Dec 30, 2008 07:04 PM

                                                  I'll recommend green chili stew, here's a recipe from our own BarmyFP:


                                                  Sichuan Garden definitely has some mega-hot offerings, I'll suggest chengdu dry-hot chicken:


                                                  1. d
                                                    dfan RE: butterfat Dec 31, 2008 08:34 AM

                                                    I'll add my name to the list of those extolling the jerk beef at Redbones. And a sandwich piled high with it is only $6.50, $9 if you get the sides.

                                                    I've had the goat stew at Highland Kitchen in Somerville three times and it has run the gamut from "tasty" to "really quite spicy", although it has not approached Redbones' jerk beef. The spiciest thing I have ever eaten was the goat stew by the same chef when he used to cook at the old Green Street (it was like eating a bowl of hot sauce); it seems that he's ratcheted it down a bit. I think it's close to $20 though.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: dfan
                                                      Buddernut RE: dfan Dec 31, 2008 08:55 AM

                                                      A bottle of Texas Pete's Hot Sauce, a package of Velveta, mayo, some hot cappicola, a Loaf of Wonder bread and a six of Bud. Add Hot sauce to bread, add cheese & cappicola, mix hot sauce with mayo, spread on outside of bread and grill it in a frying pan. Open bud, add a few dashes of hot sauce and enjoy! Poor man's gourmet at it's finest. Its cheap and wil induce anything from labor to gas ! Happy Delivery & Happy New Year :)

                                                    2. Eatin in Woostah RE: butterfat Dec 31, 2008 05:01 PM

                                                      Shredded lamb with chilis at Mulan in Cambridge. Very tasty and lots of heat, and as long as you don't go during the lunch rush it should be fairly comfortable. I believe the lunch special is $6.95 and includes soup and tea, and will feed two (or leave you with enough to take home.)

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Eatin in Woostah
                                                        Eatin in Woostah RE: Eatin in Woostah Jan 2, 2009 06:36 PM

                                                        And of course it's made with green chiles, not chili. That's what happens when posting after a couple of NYE cocktails.

                                                      2. spicelicious RE: butterfat Jan 2, 2009 02:06 PM

                                                        I recently visit Boston and found a nice little place call Emilianoz in Medford, MA. This is a Mexican restaurant and if you want spicy, just ask! Their homemade salsa is firey! The food is awesome and fresh. The tortilla chips are always fresh and crispy. The atmosphere is friendly. Give it a try. I recommend it!

                                                        1. Raedia RE: butterfat Jan 2, 2009 02:11 PM

                                                          At Cafe Mami in the Porter Exchange building, they have a lunch special of Yaki Don, or spicy beef on rice, which for $7 also comes with pickled daikon and miso soup. So good! We used to pick up huge orders for our whole office... ask for extra spicy. :)

                                                          1. b
                                                            butterfat RE: butterfat Jan 8, 2009 08:29 AM

                                                            Just a quick update--still no baby, still trying to eat spicy foods.

                                                            Along the lines of what hargau and others were discussing, it's been interesting, during all this eating, to compare the different kinds of spiciness in these cuisines and to see how they affect one differently, physiologically.

                                                            We went for the Jerk Beef at Redbones last weekend and really enjoyed it (DH and I shared the jerk beef dinner along with enormous sides of collards and mac and cheese--good combo. The hush puppies were bland, and the cornbread and butter were cold which bothers me, but the main dishes were great.) The server tried to give us a sample first and warned us that most people find it too spicy, but we plowed forward. We ate it all just fine, it was certainly spicy in a burn your mouth sort of way, but not so much in a teary/sniffly sort of way. I find that interesting, how not just the level of heat but the physical reactions can be so different. The curry I had at Thai Moon, on the other hand, didn't burn my mouth but it really cleared my sinuses and put me is sort of an altered state mentally. (Which I love--I think Thai is my favorite kind of heat at the moment.)

                                                            I was kind of disappointed that the Jerk Beef flavor was predominantly heat without much of the aromatic fruitiness of fresh habaneros that I love so much (and only really experience when we cook with our own garden grown chiles). It was delicious and addictive but could have had more depth of flavor.

                                                            We also made it to Sichuan Gourmet (Framingham) on New Year's day and my favorite spicy dish was the pork dumplings we had as an appetizer. I loved the brighness of the chile oil they were swimming in. The dried chicken with chilli sauce I had for lunch wasn't really all that spicy. I need to work on my ordering next time we go there. There were so many Chinese families eating happily that day--many of them seemed to have noodle dishes that I couldn't find on the menu. They looked delicious though.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: butterfat
                                                              jgg13 RE: butterfat Jan 8, 2009 08:38 AM

                                                              "I was kind of disappointed that the Jerk Beef flavor was predominantly heat without much of the aromatic fruitiness of fresh habaneros"

                                                              See, if anything, my largest complaint about the beef is that usually the habanero flavor is the only thing I can taste.

                                                              1. re: butterfat
                                                                galleygirl RE: butterfat Jan 8, 2009 09:05 AM

                                                                I have no shame...I just pull a waiter aside, point, and ask ,"Ooh, what do they have?" Works every time!
                                                                Good work, tho!

                                                                1. re: butterfat
                                                                  yumyum RE: butterfat Jan 8, 2009 12:33 PM

                                                                  Hey butterfat -- you know the old wives tale about making a lasagna or an italian gravy bringing on delivery, right? If you're not up to making your own, there is a recent thread about take-out lasagna. Spice it up with a lot of crushed red pepper. You'll be on your way in no time. Good luck!

                                                                  1. re: yumyum
                                                                    fragolino RE: yumyum Jan 8, 2009 05:26 PM

                                                                    Might be tippin the scales at $9, but the Spicy Beef Noodle Soup at JoJo Taipei will make you sweat.

                                                                    Satay noodles at Gitlo's (ask him to make them extra spicy) - ~$4

                                                                2. l
                                                                  lgss RE: butterfat Jan 9, 2009 02:49 PM

                                                                  Veggie Planet at Club Passim in Harvard Sq has some excellent spicy dishes.

                                                                  1. n
                                                                    nightsky RE: butterfat Jan 10, 2009 01:53 PM

                                                                    Another vote for Rod Dee -- their pad kee mao has jalapeno wedges throughout. They also have different kinds of hot sauce/peppers you can add. Luckily the one that burned down wasn't the only one. I hope El Pelon rebuilds soon, as someone else mentioned, their fish burrito with spicy mayo was fantastic.

                                                                    Chacarero has a great spicy sauce they slather on their sandwiches. The default amount is pretty small. If you ask for more you won't be disappointed.

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: nightsky
                                                                      jgg13 RE: nightsky Jan 11, 2009 06:55 AM

                                                                      I've yet to figure out how to get Chacarero to make their sandwiches hot. I was going with "extra spicy" and it was better. Someone here suggested "extra, extra spicy" which I quit doing due to a combo of it not seeming to help that much and it sounding kind of ridiculous to say.

                                                                      1. re: jgg13
                                                                        another_adam RE: jgg13 Jan 11, 2009 07:58 AM

                                                                        I've had the same problem, though I've often had good luck with the "extra, extra" strategy (actually, I think I usually specify "extra, extra hot sauce" or "LOOOOOOTS of hot sauce") Sometimes this even has prompted them to ask me if it's enough after they put it on, and I can specify "even more" if need be. I've only once or twice ended up with so much that it was searingly hot, but usually I can get it at least pleasantly hot this way.

                                                                        1. re: another_adam
                                                                          jgg13 RE: another_adam Jan 11, 2009 09:00 AM

                                                                          I'll have to try the "looooots of hot sauce" next time. :)

                                                                          One thing I do like though, the heat tends to linger, so even if the sandwich isn't as hot as I'd like, it tends to stick with me on my way back to work

                                                                    2. a
                                                                      avanthomme RE: butterfat Jan 10, 2009 02:52 PM

                                                                      YUM! I would check out the chicken vindaloo at rangoli and tell them you want it spicy. The indian food there is AMAZING! For korean food options, I would check out Bukkyung in Allston or Koreana in Cambridge, and if you like noodle soups and seafood, try the Jam Bbong. It's filled with lots of seafood in a spicy broth with udon noodles.

                                                                      1. b
                                                                        bear RE: butterfat Jan 10, 2009 03:22 PM

                                                                        I'll throw in dun dun noodles with or without shredded chicken and suan la chow show at Mary Chung in Cambridge.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: bear
                                                                          bear RE: bear Jan 10, 2009 05:38 PM

                                                                          I'll also add the MeeShay at Yoma in Allston. Delicious tender pork and mustard greens with rice noodles. Ask for it extra spicy. Best to eat in, though, so the noodles don't get too soggy.

                                                                          1. re: bear
                                                                            jgg13 RE: bear Jan 11, 2009 06:56 AM

                                                                            Both of those items vary quite a bit in heat. I've had dun dun noodles which barely seem to be much of any flavor at all, and i've had them where they've been some of the spicier things I've had in the area. I think in general that Sunday afternoons are hotter than most times, but even that's not fully constant.

                                                                          2. b
                                                                            Bob Geary RE: butterfat Jan 11, 2009 08:49 AM

                                                                            I'll second a previous recommendation for Mary Chung's Dun Dun Noodles and/or Suan La Chow Show.

                                                                            The jerk beef at Redbone's you've already done - I share your disappointment with their sides, though I like the sandwich - however, the one other thing they have on the menu that has serious heat is the "Atomic Corn Relish" - not a meal in its own right, but it's a REALLY nice complement to, say, the Jerk Chicken there (which isn't hot enough on its own).

                                                                            All-Star Sandwich Bar in Inman Square has several dishes that feature the (no longer commercially-available) Inner Beauty Hot Sauce - the Atomic Meatloaf Meltdown Sandwich and the Fries From Hell are my favorites there.

                                                                            Farther afield - Lizzy's Ice Cream on Moody Street in Waltham has a mango-habanero sorbet that is sweet and cold and creamy and deadly, deadly hot. I love this stuff.

                                                                            1. Caralien RE: butterfat Jan 13, 2009 10:35 AM

                                                                              In a pinch, Tasty Bites prepared foods (can be found at most better grocers; can be heated in a bowl of boiling water or microwaved):

                                                                              Not as good as freshly made, but great when you're craving something spicy.

                                                                              1. j
                                                                                jodes RE: butterfat Jan 13, 2009 12:59 PM

                                                                                Bhindi Bazaar on Mass Ave has great food - you can order it with extra spice...I'm not sure about inducing labor, but it will clean out your sinuses and draw a few tears.

                                                                                House of Siam has excellent thai food - I get the pineapple chicken with extra spice..plus, their crab rangoons and dumplings are to die for!

                                                                                1. Monty RE: butterfat Jan 15, 2009 09:04 AM

                                                                                  Pimientos del Padron at Toro. Not a full meal but an excellent starter. Lightly grilled small, hot Green peppers drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.

                                                                                  Green St. used to (+/- 3 years ago) do a Caribbean Goat stew that was my absolute favorite spicey dish in the city. Was sorry to see that cut from the menu. Haven't been able to find a comparable goat dish in the area since.

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Monty
                                                                                    Raedia RE: Monty Jan 15, 2009 07:31 PM

                                                                                    The former chef at Green St., I believe, has a place in Arlington that has a goat curry on the menu. Could be the same dish? I haven't had it specifically, but their seafood dishes are excellent and have some decent heat to boot.


                                                                                    1. re: Raedia
                                                                                      nfo RE: Raedia Jan 16, 2009 06:07 AM

                                                                                      I thought that this was the dish now being served at Highland Kitchen:
                                                                                      (warning: awful, awful myspace page)

                                                                                      1. re: nfo
                                                                                        Raedia RE: nfo Jan 16, 2009 07:17 AM

                                                                                        Oh yeah, I've heard good things about that dish too - too bad I never got to try the original goat stew to compare! :)

                                                                                  2. d
                                                                                    Displaced Hoser RE: butterfat Apr 29, 2010 08:55 AM

                                                                                    If you're really looking for labour-inducingly hot (and good) food, try these. Warning, I'm pretty addicted to chile heat, so these are going to be way above most people's comfort level. If you order suicide wings at a normal bar and think "wow, that was really hot," the recommendations below may be too much for you. At least order a good antidote with them (milk, yogurt, raw vegetables - I find strong rum helpful, but I don't want to recommend it to you right now!)

                                                                                    East Coast Grill has tried to make themselves the go-to place for hot food in Cambridge. Their occasional "Hell Nights" will guarantee you really hot food, but can be expensive - it depends on your price range, what you order, and how much. On the regular menu, the Southern Thai wings at East Coast Grill are incendiary and delicious. The wings themselves are just the right heat level for me; the delicious chile stuff piled on them is really, devastatingly hot. Some of it falls on to the plate; eating a pile of it separate from the wings was too hot even for me. You might find yourself giving birth under the table.

                                                                                    Also, the Atomic Meatloaf Meltdown at All Star Sandwich Bar, down the street in Inman Square, is delish.

                                                                                    Punjabi Dhaba will make many dishes extremely hot for you, but you have to ask ("dangerously extra hot" is a good term to use). (Their goat vindaloo is what I usually get, and the goat makes it more interesting than most vindaloo; their "Dhaba special jerk chicken" is also tasty, despite them not being a Caribbean place.)

                                                                                    The jerk beef at Redbones is also good, but if you really want something numbingly hot there, go for the atomic corn relish. It's not that tasty, but if serious heat is what you're craving, go for that.

                                                                                    At Zoe's there's a dish called "dry fried chicken with hot chilli," which is seriously more like "hot chilli with dry fried chicken."

                                                                                    Blue Ribbon BBQ in Arlington has a smorgasbord of barbecue sauces, including an "XXX Hot" one that lives up to its name. Not a lot of space to sit though, like the Dhaba - might be better for takeout.

                                                                                    Longer drive: go to Wendell's in Norton (south of 128) and ask for the Buffalo wings "double dare" style (not on the menu). Beware, they don't serve the standard blue cheese and celery on the side, so you'll need to have a salad or something like that if you want to cool down. The drive is long, but can be pleasant on a weekend; I wouldn't recommend it on a weekday.

                                                                                    Oh, and much less hot than the above, but still satisfyingly hot and delicious: Felipe's in the Garage in Harvard Square is not driveable from anywhere, but it is IN Cambridge so might not be too far for you. Order anything with chorizo in it (my regular is the chorizo burrito with extra meat), and ask for hot sauce and jalapeños on top. Can be somewhat packed at busy times, but the food is great and the price is totally right. (Similar deal at Tacos Lupita, where Elm Street meets Somerville Ave: haven't been there in a while, but some of the cheapest good-quality food around, with hot sauces on the tables to add punch.)

                                                                                    All Star Sandwich Bar
                                                                                    1245 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                                                                                    East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
                                                                                    1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                                                                                    55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                                                                    Blue Ribbon BBQ
                                                                                    910 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                                                                                    Punjabi Dhaba
                                                                                    225 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Displaced Hoser
                                                                                      Allstonian RE: Displaced Hoser Apr 29, 2010 10:13 AM

                                                                                      Boy, oh, boy do I sincerely hope that poor butterfat isn't still trying to induce labor with spicy foods. Did you notice the dates on the posts in this thread?

                                                                                      1. re: Allstonian
                                                                                        Displaced Hoser RE: Allstonian Apr 29, 2010 08:08 PM

                                                                                        Oh. Obviously I didn't. I saw this under "most recent threads" so I assumed it was current - but now I look back and it doesn't seem that even any of the other comments were posted before today. I wonder what happened?

                                                                                      2. re: Displaced Hoser
                                                                                        Kinopio RE: Displaced Hoser Apr 29, 2010 10:28 AM

                                                                                        The aforementioned Dun Dun noodles at Mary Chung's is my go-to meal for heat and tastiness. Just the right amount of spiciness and its only about $5.

                                                                                        Mary Chung Restaurant
                                                                                        460 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

                                                                                        1. re: Kinopio
                                                                                          baldbert RE: Kinopio Apr 29, 2010 07:51 PM

                                                                                          this baby is a toddler now!

                                                                                          1. re: baldbert
                                                                                            Delhiwala RE: baldbert Apr 30, 2010 01:42 PM

                                                                                            True according to this more recent posting by butterfat:

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